Friday, November 19, 2010

Chronological X-Men - Proteus Part 2 Review


The Uncanny X-Men #129 God Spare the Child…
Classic X-Men #35 Paper, Not Paper

Okay things are starting to heat up here. The X-Men finally leave Muir Island, only they leave Sean behind to help with Moira. Scott asks Lorna and Alex if they will come back to the team but they refuse so he tries his luck with Jamie who also turns him down. Jean’s flashbacks to ‘her other life’ are coming more frequently and are starting to get harder to snap out of, however she decides for now not to tell any of her friends about it. Charles is now back on Earth at the mansion and after learning of everyone’s survival he steps back up as the leader of the team. This doesn’t go over too well with Logan who ends up storming out, and Scott doesn’t fare much better because Charles basically calls him a failure and tells him he is disappointed in how he has chosen to lead the team in Charles’ absence. Cerebro goes off detecting two new mutants and Charles decides to split the team up to go after each of the emerging mutants. Meanwhile we get the first official appearances of The Hellfire Club, The Inner Circle, and Emma Frost – The White Queen herself. In a shadowed meeting we also meet Harry Leland, Donald Pierce and Sebastian Shaw, but they’ll have their first full on appearances soon enough. In this issue we also see Kitty Pryde and her parents Carmen and Terri for the first time. I find it interesting that according to Kitty she’s only thirteen and a half – this is a little creepy considering that Piotr is well over eighteen and I know eventually the two of them get together. On another note though if this is 1979 and Kitty is 13 ½ which means she was born in 1966 and as of today that would make her 44 years old. Man comic book timelines are screwy. Speaking of screwy there are a few things that don’t really track… why doesn’t Cerebro register Jason Wyngarde or Emma Frost? Why doesn’t Charles recognize Emma as a mutant and a telepath when they briefly encounter each other when they both attempt to recruit Kitty for their ‘schools.’ The issue ends with Emma ambushing  and kidnapping Logan, Ororo and Piotr after the failure of three armored units to kidnap Kitty Pryde. Emma informs a man named Cutler – it will be hard to keep track of anyone in the Hellfire Club since all of the Inner Circle’s henchmen wear the black and red outfits with the expressionless masks – that failure is not something The Hellfire Club will accept and triggers bombs planted within each of the three armored units… well armor. The back up issue shows exactly how Kitty ended up stowing away on Emma’s hovercraft. Again we get some funky art which once again I can excuse because it’s a dreamscape of a thirteen year old girl who just experienced the shock of her life… I do find it a little odd that everyone in Kitty’s dreamscape was female, including a wheelchair bound woman who was clearly supposed to represent Charles. Despite the fact that the Classics cover bills this as part of The Dark Phoenix Saga it is still largely considered to be part of the Proteus storyline because The Dark Phoenix Saga doesn’t officially start until Uncanny X-Men #132 when Jean becomes The Black Queen of The Inner Circle.

The Uncanny X-Men #130 Dazzler
Classic X-Men #36 Outside In

I’m not really sure where the back up story is supposed to fit in but obviously it takes place after the X-Men return to the states. Moira is naturally having trouble moving past the deaths of her son and husband is using all of her previous research to try to find a way to bring Kevin back and give him a peaceful powerless life. The story does clear up a little bit of the confusion with this retcon of her being married. Now it’s clear that Moira married Joe, he was an abusive man to the point where one night he raped her and got her pregnant – I’m assuming that since he knew nothing about the child that this is when she took off for the states and sought out a divorce and met Charles and she leaves him before she starts showing. It helps to flesh out her background and explain why she suddenly left Charles back in the day, but over the years Charles' backstory gets so muddled with that I almost hate this one simply because I know it's only the start of historical retcons yet to come. The main story shows Scott, Kurt and Jean off to find the other mutant that Cerebro discovered – this time it turns out to be a young woman who is a disco singer going by the name Dazzler. We learn that the reason why The Hellfire Club knows so much about the X-Men and how their abilities work is because they used Warhawk to bug the mansion when he attacked them 20 issues ago. Jean is continuing to experience her time slips each one is getting progressively worse, now it’s at te point where they are happening right in front of Scott and it’s getting harder and harder for Jean to snap out of them. Scott and Jean save Alison Blaire (Dazzler) and she agrees to help them rescue Kitty and the rest of the X-Men from Emma Frost.

The Uncanny X-Men #131 Run For Your Life!
Classic X-Men #37 Was Not What Will Be

What the heck, I’ll start with the back up feature again. I didn’t really like it. A lot of it was used to ‘date’ Alison to stress that she character is all about the late 70s and 1980 – I could have done with out it. The other half of it was used to show that Alison isn’t your typical rock star, that she keeps up with current events and can engage in a well spoken debate. Honestly I would rather have had this just be a few additional pages in some story instead of it being an entire back up feature. The big confrontation between the X-Men and Emma frost continues. Alison, Kurt, Jean, Kitty and Scott storm Emma and her troops to free Ororo, Piotr, Logan and Charles. Kitty gets her first interaction with Logan – which will build into him eventually mentoring her, and is smitten with Piotr. Emma faces off against Phoenix in a battle to end, ultimately Emma proves no match for Phoenix and she uses the last reserve of her power to bring down the entire building they are in. At the end everyone is safe and accounted for except for Emma and the X-Men believe that she committed suicide rather than become the X-Men’s prisoners. Back at Kitty’s house Jean uses her abilities to completely wipe out Kitty’s parents memories and create new ones for them in which they are very close to allowing Kitty to join Charles’ school – this doesn’t go over well with Scott and Ororo. Meanwhile Alison decides that her place isn’t with the X-Men and Charles trusts her enough not to reveal any of their secret identities and she departs off on her own adventure and her own title. I do find it just a little bit odd that Jean would go to the lengths of doing that to Kitty's parents, yet she doesn't do anything about the fact that Dazzler knows the identities of the X-Men. And it is a little odd that everyone is so concerned with Jean wiping out people's minds when Charles has done that in the past before for example with Blob and they didn't even bat an eyelash at that.

Amazing Spider-Man #203 Bewitched, Bothered and Be-Dazzled!

Welcome to the pit stop Alison makes before she starts her own title. Dazzler is performing in New York and is chased through the city by a giant ball of light, Spider-Man tries to save her but she wants nothing to do with him. It turns out that the giant ball of light is Lightmaster who has been trapped in a different dimension and is being called back to Earth by Alison’s powers. He plans to use her like a living battery that can keep him on Earth and in power for the rest of his life. Spider-Man interferes and as a result it causes Lightmaster’s device to backfire and instead of using Dazzler as a battery he is now possessing her. The now possessed Dazzler and Spider-Man fight but he quickly gets the upper hand and uses the device once again to separate Dazzler and LIghtmaster and send him back to the light dimension. The problem with this issue is that it is in a main title so a lot of it is devoted to aspects of Peter's life that don't really move the 'mash up' plot along which leads to an all too quick resolution for the plot. We spend a large part of the issue dealing with Alison being chased and then possessed and then in one page Peter solves the problem.

The Uncanny X-Men #129 God Spare the Child…: B
Classic X-Men #35 Paper, Not Paper: D
The Uncanny X-Men #130 Dazzler: A
Classic X-Men #36 Outside In: A
The Uncanny X-Men #131 Run For Your Life!: A
Classic X-Men #37 Was Not What Will Be: D
Amazing Spider-Man #203 Bewitched, Bothered and Be-Dazzled!: B

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